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By sidenimjay
Welcome aboard all!

I hope that all who try this plugin find it to be as stable and as user-friendly, as i have in my hours of testing. Please try it out and post bug or missing features here, i will address them as i can. and are excellent sources for learing Houdini's award winning and most powerfull toolset.

Houdini Apprentice version renders only to an interactive window and will not generate an mxs file. No watermarks are used but renders are limited to 360x243.

A disclaimer on the sun position finder, it apparently works only on day 1 and then is only close, not exact. i am awaiting further info from NL concerning this. If the system is going to change with 1.0 then i will wait to update till we have the sun system set from NL.

The Camera OBJ sets the render resolution, shutter, fstop and focal distance.

Multiple Exporter Nodes can be used with different sun settings, cameras etc.

Control the scale in Houdini under
Edit->Main Preferences->Hip File Options->Unit Length
Default is meters

The focus handle in houdini seems to be more reliable, as far as the DOF indicators are concerned, when using cm.

When writing mxs files , a .bat file of the same name as the mxs file is created. This can be edited to add aditional flags that have not been added to the exporter, such as the -hd flag. See the following for more information about editing the control scripts used in the Digital Asset.

The Exporter Object is a Houdini Digital Asset, and can therefore be modified.
CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION when modifying this Operator. Please for your own sanity, have a very good grasp on making Digital Assests.
Editing the Exporter Digital Asset, does not modify the plugin itself only the hooks into the ugly ROP node.

Importing objects from other packages is best done using .obj files.
I have included 2 Digital Assests that assist in this procedure.
The first is a Generator SOP that includes the basic steps i have found repeated when bringing in .obj files, and is called MxFilePrepper.
Use this node instead of a standard File in SOP. The paramaters should be straight forward, and accepts all Houdini standard file formats.

The second node to assist in exporting to maxwell is an OBJ Digital Asset called ObjFromGroup. This node accepts a SOP operator, and based on groups in that sop, will do one of a menu of choices when the "Just Do It!!!" button is pressed.

These are the available Operations:

Make Objects - will make a new object for each of the group names
in the source SOP, and create a new object group
containing the newly created objects. it will also
create a diffuse material of the same name and
assign it to the object.
All created objects are pre-pended with the Base Object
Name parameter.

Clean/Remove Objects will remove ALL above objects and groups.

Disable Do It!!! - Disables the ability to use the "Just Do It!!!" button

Set Operator Color - attempts to set the Node color to the indicated
parameters, but is currently not working. if anyone can
figure out why , i would love to hear . . . .

BEWARE when using Clean/Remove objects all changes to the geometry
or shaders will be lost. to prevent this from happening remove the edited objects from the group and rename by removing the Base Object Name.

The included demo file contains a basic DOP (Dynamic OPerators) simulation network, and is setup to render through maxwell. Multiple tires are thrown into the air and bounce , collide and stack, then those objects are transferd to Objects for rendering in maxwell. It is not the end all be all of a DOP simulation but i hope it provides some insight into this most powerfull toolset.

I look forward to hearing/seeing feedback from all .

i am adding the code to accept Subnetwork objects, but may take a bit of time. I have the code working currently but with only one object , which is kinda pointless considering the purpose of subnetworks. Will provide a release when fully implemented.

Lead on brave adventurer, your quest awaits . . . .
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Thanks Luis, it's great to see progress with MW!

Thanks Fernando!